“Confined to a sparsely populated, predominantly scrubland atoll near the bottom of the planet, hounded by fierce koala bears and the sinister wallaby, it comes as no surprise that, even after 37 years, the Australian Chamber Orchestra has no idea about the protocol of Manhattan music-making.
How dare they begin a concert by layering an American Crumb cake with an filling of Austrian Webern? What gives their Music Director the right to orchestrate perfectly decent Schubert and Schumann lieder, or turning a Grieg string quartet into a string symphony?
Well, what about this right? That for almost four decades, the ACO has enlisted the finest string players from their little country (Australia’s motto: “Hic sunt dracones”) transforming them into an ensemble that can easily rival our own Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The de facto reality is that, like the Orpheus, they have no conductor. The esteemed Richard Tognetti–virtuoso violinist, composer, arranger, the man who taught Russell Crowe to handle a fiddle in a movie–acts more like a concertmaster. He stands with his 17-person orchestra, gives the downbeat and plays his Guarneri del Gesù with aplomb, élan and other words not usually associated with Australia.”
Read full review at http://www.concertonet.com/scripts/review.php?ID_review=8402